Op Atalanta renewed
Renewed mandate until 2020.
EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta: ‘Mandate continues, Business as usual’
EU NAVFOR is pleased to confirm that following the decision from the Council of the European Union the mandate of Operation ATALANTA will continue until 31 December 2020.
The mandate extension signals the EU’s commitment to continuing counter-piracy operations off the Somali coast. Furthermore, the ongoing protection of vulnerable shipping gives confidence to the WFP in delivering vital aid to Somalia. This mandate extension is a standard approach that allows the EU to regularly review its operations and extend as required.
Following the decision by the UK to withdraw from the EU, the EU NAVFOR Operational Headquarters (OHQ) will also relocate from Northwood (UK) to Rota (Spain). At the same time, the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) will relocate to Brest (France) and will remain under EU NAVFOR OHQ Command and Control.
Operational Commander, Major General Charlie Stickland, said: “The transition is being planned with the utmost consideration to ensure it is smooth and seamless with continued cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the region” he added: “During this time ATALANTA will be conducting business as usual with the Force Headquarters and ships remaining deployed and conducting deterrence of piracy and protection of WFP shipping.”
General Stickland also said on the announcement of the next Operational Commander: “I am already working closely with Vice Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacave and it is my role to ensure that this operation remains a CSDP exemplar and that my successor is set up for continued success.”
The mission is currently supported by 19 EU nations and 2 partner nations, with aircraft and warships from Spain, Italy and Germany and Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachments rotating between Lithuanian, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. There is also a Support Element group deployed in Djibouti plus a network of liaison officers across the region.